Cormac Costello is one of the outstanding Gaelic football strikers of his generation with seven All Ireland medals and a range of other titles to his name.
He’s also an avid golfer and while he’s not yet ready to hang up his shoes and chase that one-digit handicap, the Whitehall Colmcille star loves nothing more than a round at Clontarf Golf Club, where his father, John Costello, the CEO of Dublin County Board, is a long-time member.
He started the game while on a family vacation in Kerry and with connections across the Kingdom, it’s no surprise that a Kerry footballer ranks highly among the players he most admires.
Even his favorite current golfer is from Listowel.
1. How’s your golf going? Up and down. I haven’t played for a while. I play for the craic and a little fun instead of taking it too seriously.
2. How did you get started in the game? My father. He is a member of Clontarf and when we went on holiday to Kerry me, my father, my little brother and my uncle would always go out to play in Killarney. There are some great courses there, so that’s how I started.
3. Choose your weapon. Driver or putter? And why? Driver. I just love to let go. That’s what I like to do.
4. Links or park? Why? park landscape. If you miss a lot on a park-like course, you could land on a different fairway, while left-hand golf is very unforgiving. Definitely a park.
5. When were you happiest on the golf course? Probably on a team holiday in Thailand a few years ago. We played there in 2015 and the course was just amazing. It was in Phuket and the weather was spectacular. Unfortunately I was the one who paid at the end of that round. I played with Rory O’Carroll, Jason Sherlock and Davy Byrne. I think Rory won that day. As for the best golfer on the squad, I’d probably go with Lee Gannon.
6. Who is your sporting hero? Katie Taylor. She’s electric, isn’t she? She’s brilliant. She’s just the complete role model. The way she does her business in a calm manner and every time she goes out she carries out. She’s just a hero.
7. Name an opponent or rival that you especially admire and why. When I was younger it was Mike Frank Russell who played for Kerry. He was a very agile corner striker, he was very good in front of goal and broke my heart as a Dublin fan a few times. He was a marksman. He was certainly one.
8. What is your golf ambition? Do you have one? I want to reduce my handicap to a few digits. But not yet. I still have a lot of football to play, so maybe later. I don’t want to start too soon.
9. Name your dream fourball (it doesn’t have to be golfers). And name the location. Tyson Fury, the world heavyweight champion. I’m a bit of a boxing fan. Then I’d go for Chance the Rapper. He is one of my favorite artists. I like “All Night”. And then Leonardo DiCaprio. I just love all his movies. It would be me and Tyson against the two guys and we would play in Elm Park. (laughs).
10. If you could change one thing about golf or GAA, what would it be? Gaelic football is fine, but they could give me a few more mulligans in golf.
11. If I were to give you one mulligan in your football career, what would it be? Probably the All Ireland semi-final against Mayo last year. We got beat up, so I’d love to bang them one more time.
12. If you only had one round to play, where would it be? Don’t say Augusta National unless you absolutely have to. It just has to be Augusta. Sorry. Every year when the Masters comes along, it looks so fresh. It just makes you want to run out and hit a golf ball. I probably wouldn’t shoot the lowest score, but I’d love the chance to find out what I could shoot.
13. What’s your favorite par three? It definitely has to be the 12th descent at Druids Glen with the Celtic Cross in the tee. I remember there was a Dublin GAA golf classic there and I helped hand out water and chocolate bars to the boys from a golf buggy. On the 12th we had to play closest to the pin and I hit the green. That’s probably the pinnacle of my golf career so far.
14. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be about golf. I wish I was a little younger. The legs are starting to walk (laughs). The body is now starting to hurt a little after the workout. I’m 27.
15. What is your most cherished possession (golf or otherwise)? God forbid there was a fire. What would be the first thing you would grab? I would probably grab the dog. I have a lovely dog named Puma. She’s an American bully. I love dogs and she is amazing. She’s only one, but she’s brilliant.
16. If you could change one thing about your golf, what would it be? My moves. As you could see there, I was missing some five footers. What do they say? You ride for show and putt for dough.
17. Who is your all-time favorite golfer? Why? My favorite golfer right now is Corey Conners, the Canadian golfer. I just love the way he plays. He’s just solid and rarely has a bad hole. Obviously Tiger would be the all time favorite and Shane Lowry is just a hero. He is currently playing golf seriously.
18. You probably didn’t know that Corey Conners is from Listowel… Canada. Finally, what is your idea of perfect happiness? Wow. That is a difficult question. Waking up on a beach somewhere. I like a nice warm and sunny climate.